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  • Robert Alice
  • 51.895167° N, 1.4805° E
  • Solo Show
  • Principality of Sealand
  • 1 September – 9 September 2021

Each of the paintings and NFTs in Portraits of a Mind relates to a unique location in the world with Block 34 relating Sealand, the world’s longest established micronation. These 40 locations across the 40 paintings together tell a conceptual pre-history of crypto, with each location chosen to show blockchain’s ties with the past that stretch through centuries. Long a libertarian outpost that stood as a flag post for self-sovereignty, in early 2000 a group of West-Coast Cypherpunks established Haven&Co, the world’s first data haven on Sealand. The project was an important philosophical touchstone for the cypherpunk and crypto anarchist movements out of which Bitcoin was born.  

In conjunction with the exhibition at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, the painting and 1/1 NFT was exhibited at Sealand, 12 km into the North Sea off the coast of the UK in September 2021, exhibiting the work at the location it conceptually represents.The exhibition shined a spotlight on Sealand, the history of Haven&Co and their philosophical relationship with crypto values.  

For more information on Sealand please read a fantastic profile on Sealand and Haven&Co for Wired in 2000, and quoted here "Hunkered down on a North Sea fortress, a crew of armed cypherpunks, amped-up networking geeks, and libertarian swashbucklers is seceding from the world to pursue a revolutionary idea: an offshore, fat-pipe data haven that answers to nobody."

Prince Liam Bates of Sealand comments “As the worlds smallest nation, we are actively exploring participation and governance through NFT and DAO technology to create the world’s first metanation. We aim to create a globally inclusive community by bridging the physical and virtual worlds.”